Monday, June 30, 2014

The Sounds of Silence

The tickets were our kids Father's Day gift.

He opened on friday night with :

When he started this song, we were silent and a soft murmur of the words filled
the venue. He told us the story of Paul coming to his apartment and he had 
written this song: 

He gave us this song: The Boxer

He didn't sing AMERICA , but sung about my favorite American city:

He read poetry in-between songs. Told stories about Simon and himself. 
He is missing THAT hair now. At 73, he is finishing up walking across 
Europe. He walked across America when he was young. He writes poetry.
He had been in movies. He has read over 1205 books. See his lists on his website.
 We heard him about 10 years ago with the Charlotte
Symphony and when he sang " Bridge Over Troubled Night" , I was transported
to heaven. His voice is how I hear the angels in heaven singng. He ended the friday
evening with a Q& A , then went into the last song:

Here is a poem he wrote for CBS , Notes to my younger self, and he wore the same shirt on Friday night.
This tells his life story and is very good. I do like good poetry!

Art Garfunkel inspired me. He thanked God for his voice at age 5 and still does. His voice 
was lost a few years ago so this is his come back concert tour in small venues.
 I saw what a CALLING is, what giftedness is, and he  brought joy through his
singing, words,  and his life to us. Thank you kids!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

good books , songs and "holy imagination" at INKWELL

This past Saturday , we spent the day at workshops on writing, songwriting, poetry, 
and illustrating . INKWELL Family Conference. It was for the whole family, so I 
sat in the back of all the high school sessions. Jan Bloom was there with her most
lovely books. All the INKWELL teachers were there with their books , cds, illustrations,
and guitars! 

Some thoughts:

- it is amazing to see 10 year boys have a stack of Andrew Peterson's Wingfeather Saga books , get in line to have them signed, and then sit on the floor in the hall to read. 

- Slugs & Bugs , Randall Goodgame, took Scripture and the groups ( each followed a color plan to go to each of the 4 sessions) and wrote music to a verse. I was astounded at the gifts. Here is his favorite verse on THE STORY WARREN.

- There were real professionals teaching. Three male and one female. 
Rebecca Reynolds had us all in stitches with her opening story of the toilet paper song her
children have to sing in rhyme when there is no more toilet paper. They have to make up new verses! 

- and all to bring our imaginations to " holy imagination." What does this mean 
and each of the teachers had a take on this. 

- evening concert:  Randell Goodgame made us wish our children were little again.
Andrew Peterson made me want to play the guitar and sing. hahahaha!
He poured out his giftedness and stories so we went home so deeply nourished like
being at the Supper of the Lamb.

- Here is the illustrator: Zach Frazen

AND if you don't know about The Rabbit Room, go read daily.
The Story Warren is  an offshoot and good books for children.

 Andrew's last song in the Evening Concert: The Reckoning

shorter version:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

day after Monday

Gentle rain today , off and on. 

The Romantic in the  Rain by GK Chesterton:

 It realises the dream of some insane hygienist: it
scrubs the sky. Its giant brooms and mops seem to reach the starry
rafters and Starless corners of the cosmos; it is a cosmic spring cleaning.

All around me as I write is a noise of Nature drinking: and Nature makes a
noise when she is drinking, being by no means refined. If I count it
Christian mercy to give a cup of cold water to a sufferer, shall I
complain of these multitudinous cups of cold water handed round to all
living things; a cup of water for every shrub; a cup of water for every
weed? I would be ashamed to grumble at it. As Sir Philip Sidney said,
their need is greater than mine--especially for water.


For indeed this is one of the real beauties of rainy weather, that while
the amount of original and direct light is commonly lessened, the number
of things that reflect light is unquestionably increased. There is less
sunshine; but there are more shiny things; such beautifully shiny things
as pools and puddles and mackintoshes. It is like moving in a world of

... It gives the roads (to the
sympathetic eye) something of the beauty of Venice.

It is quite funny, short,  and will make you smile.

                                                   The River in the Summer Rain
                                                              Frances Hamel


 River in Summer rain
Then I came to this from a blog: 

'That writer does the most for us who brings to our attention thoughts that lay close to our minds waiting to be acknowledged as our own. Such a man acts as a midwife to assist at the birth of ideas that had been gestating long within our souls, but which without his help might not have been born at all.' Tozer

My hopes for this next year as I ponder book lists and notebooks are in those two sentences.
I learned so much about rain so needing to push away the twaddle 
and clear out the cobwebs. Well, I did do that today on my front porch!
( sweeping) Definitely reading more of Chesterton. He fits in any time 
period and makes the mind tingle and stretches the imagination.
Who would have ever thought so much could be said of rain?
Then, I found this young British painter born in 1963.
( smiling)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday mercies

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice,
Which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
Are more felt than up in Heaven;
There is no place where earth’s failings
Have such kindly judgment given.
There is grace enough for thousands
Of new worlds as great as this;
There is room for fresh creations
In that upper home of bliss.
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of our mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
’Tis not all we owe to Jesus;
It is something more than all;
Greater good because of evil,
Larger mercy through the fall.
Souls of men! why will ye scatter
Like a crowd of frightened sheep?
Foolish hearts! why will ye wander
From a love so true and deep?
It is God: His love looks mighty,
But is mightier than it seems;
’Tis our Father: and His fondness
Goes far out beyond our dreams.
But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness
With a zeal He will not own.
Was there ever kinder shepherd
Half so gentle, half so sweet,
As the Savior who would have us
Come and gather at His feet?
Frederick William Faber

Friday, June 20, 2014

New book

I saw this book a few weeks ago at the store we love  and got it from the library.
It  brought me joy so on Sunday with Nancy  ( see blog below) , I got a copy
in the housewares/books sale area. 

Here is her blog : 66 Square Feet 

Here is her book by the same name except three words after it:
66 Square Feet: a delicious life

Here is her garden in the tiny terrace in Brooklyn:

She writes elegantly and makes you want to grow flowers and vegetables.
I did go out and buy some because of her love.
Isn't that the way we are? We hear or watch someone who is passionate and all 
of a sudden we step in the place of beauty they led us to.

Look for it in your library. 
Read her blog. 
Read Nancy's , especially if you are educating your children or others.


The Murmuring Cottage

There and Back

Back from the Charlotte Mason Institute Conference and still thinking up 
the sessions and listening to Jerram Barrs, who spoke, and here is  more from Covenant Seminary:

Children's Literature

Jane Austen

Dorothy Sayers

There are also workshops by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay from FOR THE CHILDREN'S 
SAKE . This is the 30th anniversary of her book. It was the very first book put into my hands
and then I went on to Charlotte Mason's volumes. That year Susan came to our church to speak.
The journey began! 

I also heard Nancy speak and I am still thinking upon her session on Citizenship. 
I was blessed with her overnight stay at my house and a trip to Whole Foods and 
Anthropologie after church before dropping her off at the airport. 

Other events this week:
- daughter was hit by a car crossing lanes to turn and didn't see her. All involved are fine and the car may be totalled.
- daughter -in -law had gall bladder surgery today. All went well.
- tomorrow is INKWELL: a writing conference. I know I will have more to say about the gifted teachers.
-it is hot. 

Landscape at Twilight
Van Gogh

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bookstores in NYC

For book lovers and NYC lovers :

Bookstores of New York


Don't you wish you could walk to "The Shop Around the Corner" today. We did pass the restaurant last Octoberwhere she is waiting to meet Foxx which is on the Upper West Side. Still so adorable and has photos from the movie ( You've Got Mail) outside. We were walking
at night across the street , heading to the subway, and I said " Isn't that charming!!"
Then we discovered it was famous.

I visited Books of Wonder in April. There it was across from City Bakery where we 
were meeting my cousins. Sadly, most of the used books were at a Book Fair but 
it still was a highlight.

Cafe Lola :

Book #4

Just finished the next book in The Hawk and the Dove series by Penelope Wilcock. She continues with deep transformations in her characters and starts on Ash Wednesday , writing a chapter a day, to end at Easter. She continues to show the theme of forgiveness in this Benedictine monastery who has a new Abbot. It is not easy in the story. It is not easy in life. 

Walter Wangerin said in this Q&A with  his grad students: The Teacher Responds to His Students , (  my students copied in this sentence in their   Commonplace Books.. we were in   Medieval and Renaissance history period and literature). A cathedral makes the heart soar and good writing should too. 

Good description is like Chartre Cathedral: it makes the reader move forward, move, you see, in the direction (narratively and emotionally and interpretively) that the author intends. 

THE FORTIETH DAY from The Hardest Thing to Do

      In the delirious sunshine of the day, birds feverishly gathered twigs for nests taking shape in every hedgerow. The wood dovs, who had their dovecote supplied, occupied their hours in ostentatious courtship, throats puffed to the huge maximum, sidling and bowing in pursuit of desirable favors. 

     The primroses had all opened , and the wildflowers were scattered among the trees above the burial ground, where also wild daffodils had advanced to full bud. 

     Over the bare hilltops of the moor, the lark flung into the wide arch of the sky , a dizzy, exulting blue. Brother Stephen, on his way up the farm track to look over his lambs before the Palm Sunday liturgies began, paused for a moment just to feel the day. "O God, it's warm,:
he whispered . "Deo gratias. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

     On this one day the wind dropped, and it felt like a different world. Everything, even summer, 
seemed possible. Hope had woken.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

one of Heaney's last poems

For his second granddaughter

A Kite for Aibhin

Seamus Heaney1939 - 2013
After “L’Aquilone” by Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912)
Air from another life and time and place,
Pale blue heavenly air is supporting
A white wing beating high against the breeze,

And yes, it is a kite! As when one afternoon
All of us there trooped out
Among the briar hedges and stripped thorn,

I take my stand again, halt opposite
Anahorish Hill to scan the blue,
Back in that field to launch our long-tailed comet.

And now it hovers, tugs, veers, dives askew,
Lifts itself, goes with the wind until
It rises to loud cheers from us below.

Rises, and my hand is like a spindle
Unspooling, the kite a thin-stemmed flower
Climbing and carrying, carrying farther, higher

The longing in the breast and planted feet
And gazing face and heart of the kite flier
Until string breaks and—separate, elate—

The kite takes off, itself alone, a windfall.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When a friend...

--falls and breaks both elbows and a wrist, your heart sinks. Tomorrow I will finally go see this friend who lives about 2 and a half hours away. She plays the cello and piano and is a painting artist.

--asks to have coffee, you go and listen.

--tells you about a book , you read it.

--prays for you , you feel part of an army.

--gives you rest, you hug her. 

(via Rylee Hitchner Photography » Blog)

Monday, June 2, 2014

so lovely for June

We could make this: